About 10 years ago I got my mountain bike stolen from my truck in the drive way.
Man I was pissed, I had just gotten home from from a ride came i to eat because it was cold and late, before bringing my bike in. 10 minutes it was
outside, and gone
I lived in kind of a sketchy neighborhood, so I should have know better.
Oh well, have to work more to replace it, and since we worked 65 hr weeks where I worked at the time it wasnt that difficult. So I moved on, I was
sad because the bike was very special there were only 25 builtl,but OH well.
About 5 months later a kid who worked at the bike shop I used to work at, and was very familiar with my bike, called me up one afternoon, "dude I
found your bike"
I was astounded, he was riding to work and saw it parked against a tree i front of a house. So he rode to the nearest police substation, told them
and called me.
When i got there the the POLICE are already there, and there a guy and there is my bike, WOOO HOOOO.
The cops wanted proof that it was mine, I hadnt had time to go through all of my records to dig up the recipt, so I told him that if they took the
seat post out they would find it cut at The "H" in the mfgs logo. And sure enough there was cut where I said. Cop says good enough for me. and goes
back to talk to the guy.
In the mean time I start talking to a guy about my age that obviouslly is connected to the other guy in some fashion. I find out that he was the
other guys uncle, and they were at the older guys moms house.
I found out that the kid (21 ish) had had a pretty rough up bringing and fell into a gang, when he was about 13-14. He had a pretty typical ganster
life while a teen, they were basicaly harmless then, really petty stuff, boosting car stereo's , doing drugs, taggin and stuff.
He had got to a point where he decided that he need to get away from it all or he'd end up like his father in prison for life.
So he moved out to a small town 17 miles from here, to stay with another relative. Since there was no work in the little town he lived in his only
option was to work in the big city 17 miles away. He didnt have a liscence or car, he knew nobody other than the elderly relative he was stay with,
ther is no bus service or rail. So he walked to work, 6 days a week rain or shine, 35 miles a day.
Every once and a while his uncle(the guy im talking to), would give him a ride into town, but other wise he walked 35 miles a day to go to work.
Untill that night, that 40 deg rainy night, he caved in and boosted my bike, from the driveway.
He said that after he got about 3-4 miles he freaked out and tried to find my house again and give it back.
He wasnt sure which street he got it from or which block, and he rode around looking for the red truck he took it from, which had me in it driving
around looking for it.
He never found the red truck, so he went home, and it only took him an half rather than the usual 4.
He kept on riding it and went through the neighbor hood several time looking for the red truck, except that he was on the wrong side of a particluar
So for the next 5 month he rode the crap out of it, wearing out a set of tires, and having them replaced at a shop in town, and that peeved me more
than anything, because EVERY SHOP IN TOWN KNEW ME AND THAT BIKE, there was only 1 like it in 250 miles.
Any way after the uncle tells me this story the cops come up and ask what I want to do, I tell him that as long as I get my bike back I'm good, and
I'm going to throw him a bone and not press charges, as long as he promises to his uncle and grandmother to keep working as hard as he has been.
The cop was fine with that , but tell's him, why dont you let us empty out your pockets before we let you go.
"Oh no", they are trying to take him to jail, no matter what I say, I think to my self.
Sure enough he had a small folding knife in his back pocket, the cop looks at me a says its not your desicion any more, he's going to jail for
carrying a concealed weapon, and felony grand theft.
But I didnt want to press charges, it the states desicion now the cop replies.
I really felt bad because the guy was genuinly trying to do good, he just messed up, but realized it right away and tried to do the right thing.
A couple of months later, the DA's office calls me to get my story and I relate what I though and that I didnt want to charge the guy and that I
thought the weapons charge was bogus, she replied that "he was in possesion of a DANGEROUS conceiled weapon", it was a cheap ass lock back with a
3" blade, that would certainly hurt the user more than the intented victim.
The felony theft, with special circumstances for the knife, along with his juvenile record, made him a dangerous career felon.
He automaticly got 25-life, possiblity of parole in 17.
For a freaking stolen bike and a pocket knife.
[edit on 12-1-2008 by punkinworks]